IS A WOOD SHAKE ROOF THE RIGHT ROOF FOR DENVER, COLORADO? • ASAP Roofing IS A WOOD SHAKE ROOF THE RIGHT ROOF FOR DENVER, COLORADO? • ASAP Roofing
On March 23, 2013

IS A WOOD SHAKE ROOF THE RIGHT ROOF FOR DENVER, COLORADO?

 

When roofing your home in Denver Colorado, you must consider the very unique climate. Denver has a very dry, high elevation type of climate, which can be harsh for your wood shake roof. Although it is beautiful and durable, cedar shake roofing is often an appealing option for homeowner’s considering roofing restoration. According to the FinerLiving.net site: “One of the reasons they are popular is that they are very easy to install and look beautiful. Repairing them is also very simple and can last for 50 to 60 years if you treat them well.”

 

But before we get too excited about cedar shake roofing, ASAP ROOFING, a national roofing company, suggests that we fully explore the pro’s and con’s of a cedar shake roofing.

So let’s start with the benefits:

 

Durability: Cedar shake roofing is known for its durability, with some forms, such as Enviro Shake being touted to last as long as 50 years.

 

Aesthetic appeal: In terms of rustic appearance, nothing beats cedar shake roofing, and for many homeowners, simply the reputation of cedar shake as a higher end roofing material is enough to encourage it as a roofing choice. Certainly, cedar shake roofing does increase a home’s value, and according to some real estate websites, by as much as 10-15%.

 

Sustainability: Because wood is a natural product, it is of course biodegradable. Different from asphalt shingles, the typical roofing choice, where the recycling is in its infancy, wood shake will break down naturally, and can always be shredded and recycled as wood chips which provide excellent ground cover. Cedar can also be made more environmentally sound when purchased from a company that is certified by the Forest Steward Council or other forest certification organizations.

 

And the drawbacks:

 

Required maintenance: The longevity of wood shake roofing is extremely dependent on the regular maintenance, and according to the National Roofing Contractor’s Association (NRCA) wood shake will need to be both preservative treated and fire-retardant in order to last as long as the warranty might suggest. Additionally NRCA notes that fire-retardant may need to be re-applied as premature deterioration can increase fire risk.

 

Lack of fire retardant quality: As mentioned above, wood shake roofing can, when not maintained correctly, lose its fire-retardant quality.

 

Potential Increased Insurance Premiums: Primarily because there are no ASTM standards for wood shake roofing, some insurance companies do charge a higher premium for this type of roofing. The best way to determine this is to check with your insurance company before installing wood shake roofing.

 

Cost: Wood shake roofing does traditionally cost as much as twice as much as asphalt shingle roofing, and that cost can be even greater when purchasing cedar that is certified by Forest Steward Council or other forest certification organizations. According to the Finer Living website you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $350 per square foot depending on style and fire resistance rating.

 

As always, ASAP ROOFING, a national roofing company offers homeowners a variety of roofing selections and can customize any roof to fit their customers’ needs whether it is in their service areas of Denver, Colorado, Atlanta, Georgia, Indianapolis, Indiana, or Dallas, Texas. For more information on wood shake roofing pros and cons, or ASAP ROOFING, just visit www.asaproofing.com

References:

National Roofing Contractors Association  (www.nrca.net)

Forest Stewardship Council (https://us.fsc.org/)

Finer Living website (www.finerliving.net)

Written by Nick Dorotik

nick@asaproofing.com

Nick Dorotik is the Vice President of ASAP Roofing, and manages sales and marketing. You can find him on Google+ and twitter.

 

  • By kirk  15 Comments 
  • 15 Comments

    Posted by Bo Hamby on
    • Mar 23 2013
    Reply  
    Interesting. My position is that wood is a good roof and with it's superior ventilation, (provided you have skipped sheathing), if I was choosing to stay with wood or change to asphalt I would stay. That said, the market drives what we actually install and when faced with this decision, the market decides more that 90% of the time to go with asphalt. As usual, nice article Nick.
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 23 2013
      Reply  
      Good points Bo, I believe most would agree, that wood shake roofs are aesthetically superior.
    Nice article sir. You drive home a good point about maintenance, it is often over looked for all types of roof, cedar in particular. Not a bad thing to market!
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 23 2013
      Reply  
      The maintenance is often overlooked. It can create a horrible fire hazard when neglected.
    Posted by chris stempel on
    • Mar 23 2013
    Reply  
    How much of a life span can the dry climate take away from your shake roof in Denver?
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 24 2013
      Reply  
      I would say the fifty year expectation of a wood shake roof, could be cut in half in the Denver climate. When hail hits a brittle dry wood shake roof in Denver, it can be very susceptible to cracking.
    Posted by Eric Novotny on
    • Mar 25 2013
    Reply  
    Another solid article Nick. I agree that the look of shake is probably the best thing going for it. That being said, with all the the aesthetic alternatives (some better than others), I would opt for a non-wood option in most climates and especially in the high and dry Denver. While wood is more "sustainable" in theory given its organic nature, the fact that I personally have yet to see a 50 year old shake roof (even the case of those well maintained ones) lends me to believe that the non-wood option that actually might last 50 years is the more environmentally friendly option. Skip sheathing is fine but only works if you are using a properly specified vapor permeability rated underlayment. If you are using any of the woven polypropylenes, it isn't drying to the attic side and nor should it in most cases. Ventilation should be handled per the attics accommodations or by hanging the roof on a set of purlins for an over deck type of venting system. Drying the shakes to the attic is not a great idea in my estimation. Great Article again!! Eric @ WoW
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 25 2013
      Reply  
      Good point about the skip sheathing, and specific vapor permeable underlayment. Appreciate the feedback.
    Posted by Alison Turner on
    • Mar 25 2013
    Reply  
    I love the look of cedar shakes. I've only considered these for beach property, the option to bring it inland is very intriguing. Thank you for pointing out both the pros and cons.
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 25 2013
      Reply  
      They have a very nice look!
    Posted by Laura Griffin on
    • Mar 27 2013
    Reply  
    I'd still prefer the traditional roofing system like metal and galvanized sheets because wood is expensive at the same time that they require constant maintenance.
      Posted by admin on
      • Mar 27 2013
      Reply  
      Yes... Wood shakes require lots of maintenance. Metal is considered more environmentally friendly, as well!
    Posted by Best Roofer In Atlanta on
    • Apr 4 2013
    Reply  
    Nice post and YOU HAVE HAIL DAMAGE! If you live in McDonough, GA and need a LOCAL ROOFER Give us a Call!  We are local and have been for 10+ years. We will work with you and your insurance company and help you get a brand new roof!  Free Inspections, Free Estimates, A+ Rating with the BBB, Licensed & Local Roofer in McDonough GA.  Call us or visit us on the Web 770-914-1533 - www.BetterCareUSA.com.
      Posted by admin on
      • Apr 5 2013
      Reply  
      Lots of damage in Atlanta.
    Posted by Best Roofer In Atlanta on
    • Apr 8 2013
    Reply  
    Nice post and Thanks for this useful information.BEWARE OF STORM CHASERS With the recent hail storm, there are a lot of people from Out Of State that are probably beating on you or your neighbors doors begging the get on your roof...BEWARE... they are NOT local...

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